26 answers

2 Yr Old Complaining Things Are Too Loud

I am trying to find other parents out there who have gone through this same problem. My 2 yr has started complaining of certain things being too loud. It started out as small things like the blow dryer when I would blow dry her hair. I have it on the lowest setting when I blow dry her hair. Then it would be the blender but I don't use it that often. The next thing was the noise of the shopping cart over the parking lot pavement. Every time this happens she puts her hands over her ears and keeps saying mommy that too loud. I know she can hear perfectly fine. She doesn't complain that she can't hear you. She verbalizes extremely well. She talks better than some kids her own age or older. So anyways, after she complained about the cart I made her a appt. to see her Dr. I love her Dr and he just said that he thought it was a phrase she was going through and all since she wasn't doing it on a regular bases and doing it every day. So we took his word for it and left. Well that appt was 2 wks ago and things have been ok since. Well this week we have some issues. My husband will have his computer on watching a tv show but won't have the volume up loud at all. But we will also have the tv on to her shows in the late evening. Well she kept telling us the computer was too loud. We put the computer on mute and she still said it was too loud. That went on for about 5-8 minutes of it is too loud. Yesterday we had the tv on but my husband was playing his playstation 3. My daughter was here in the living room sitting with me and she kept putting her hands over her ears and complaining it was too loud. My husband even unplugged the small fan we have to help cool off all the cable box and all. But she still said it was too loud. She looked at me at one point and looked as if she was going to cry. I don't know what to do. My husband seems to think it is a phrase like the dr said. But I just don't know. If any of you could share some info it would be very much appreciate.

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Maybe she just needs some quiet time. Try having some time set aside each day where computer, tv, video games, music, etc. is all off and it's just quiet. Perhaps just life in general and all the noise that fills it is overwhelming her at the moment.

We went through this with my nephew for about 3 years. He had drowned at roughly 18 months old and within two months after that he started the same thing. He is still sensitive to certain vibrations but not nearly to the same degree.
It has to due with the vibrations she is receiving, not so much the loudness of the sound.

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It may be a phase - but you need to look out for Asperger's syndrome and autism. Issues with noise can be a characteristic of those medical conditions. You might want to get a list of characteristics and see if your child develops other ones. My son has issues with noise, and has a few other autistic "tendencies", but he was not diagnosed with the condition. His tendencies do impact his social interactions with others, and his interpretation of concepts at school. Alot of the issues didn't really surface until middle school. My son also has a problem with ear wax buildup - and if his ears aren't "equal" in ear wax he complains more about noise (I know this sounds strange - but to him its real). He complains about people "breathing too loud".

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My son is going thru the same thing. It started when he was 3 and we kinda just dismissed it until he started school and it started to cause problems there. He would be afraid to go into the lunch room or into the gymnasium bc it was was just too loud. His biggest annoyance seemed to be the toilet flushing. He hated the sirens at parades too. I took him to his dr and she concluded that he had a sensory disorder. Everything seems extremely loud to him when it really isn't. There wasn't anything we could do about but wait for him to get used to it and learn to accept it. He is 7 now and still has small issues with loud noises but NOTHING like when he was small. I hope this helps =]

My 3 year old says the same thing & my wife and I are concerned. Having read the answers we can try and work out what the issue is.

Hi I know that your concern has been over almost 2 years ago, but I'm curious if your child was just going through a 'phase' or if she was ever diagnosed with anything. My three year old is going through the same phase. Doctor is telling me it's 'sensory'. It's unusual, since It can be very quiet and my child will cover his ears with his hands reacting to loud noise.

My son has been doing much the same thing. He does not like the sound of blow dryers, vacuum cleaners, lawn mowers, motorcycles, etc. We have told him that if it is too loud, he can leave the room and go where it is quieter, or he can cover his ears. He seems to be fine with that. It seems to give him some measure of control over it.

She could just have sensitive hearing, where she can hear things that most people can't. My husband often hears things that I can't, such as the picture tube on the television. It is not necessarily a sensory disorder. If it is only noises and nothing else seems to be going on, I would say it is just a phase. What is your mommy instinct telling you?

Good Luck!

I assume the doctor checked her ears. If you have an ear infection or fluid behind the ears, it can make you sensitive to loud noises. My daughter, who could verbalize so well at that age had that issue when she had a nasty ear infection.
It can also be a sign of a sensory disorder. My son who is having major problems in school this year always complained of loud noises. We are in the process of having him tested for several things.
It could be a bid for attention/control.
I would continue to monitor it. Does it occur anytime there is a loud noise, or the kind of noise she is now complaining about? Even if she is distracted? First Steps eval may not hurt, especially if you are seeing other problems. It could be she gets easily overstimulated. If all this was going on in the evening, maybe she was tired, and just a little less able to cope with things.
Good luck.

it really does souund like a sensory disorder. I have issues also and even some peoples voices are like that to me. I am not sure if there is anything you can do to help this or not but you might want to consider getting ear plugs for the times you know you will have to dry her hair or go to the store. It's just a thought and a real condition and she will outgrow some of this.

My 2 1/2 year old daughter did the same thing for about 3 months. Blow dryers, vacuums etc....she'd watch Dora and be fine and then suddenly it was "too loud". I finally figured out the saying "too loud" was her way of saying she was scared of Swiper and other noises. It had nothing to do with the sound itself but in trying to learn about emotions and how to express them. Once she had the vocabulary to name how she was feeling and could recognize it, she stopped. She now sits next to me while I blow dry by hair or vacuum. The mixer is still "too loud" but only I suspect because I don't cook often enough. :-) I wouldn't worry unless there are other issues you are noticing too.

I agree with some of the others who pointed out sensory disorder (which can be found in autistic or spectrum children as well as one person pointed out). I can sympathize, though. Blowdryers, blenders, "electric noises" (i.e. a tv just turned off with the remote and not the main power) hurt my ears or just drive me crazy. I can't go to concerts anymore because they usually have the speakers on painfully loud to me.

Whatever you do, take her seriously. Meaning, even if it's not a medical condition and just an attention issue, then she is needing attention. Give her positive attention and make boundaries. Either way, she is needing something.


I just went throught this with my 2 year old! She verbalizes extremely well too so I was able to tell her that if she thinks it's too loud she can play in a quieter part of the house. She would go for about 5 minutes to play and then return and wouldn't mention the noise.....until the next day or so. My response has always been the same, "I'm sorry it's too loud for you but I NEED to stir the pasta. You can go where it's quieter or you may cover your ears".

My opinion is that it's a bid for attention. We are extremely attentive to our kids but any time my attention was on something else, my daughter would insist on things being too loud.
I know that you said that your daughter looked as though she was going to cry but my daughter is very imaginative and throws herself wholeheartedly into any role she invents.
It's totally a phase. I wouldn't worry about it at all. She sounds super creative!

Maybe she just needs some quiet time. Try having some time set aside each day where computer, tv, video games, music, etc. is all off and it's just quiet. Perhaps just life in general and all the noise that fills it is overwhelming her at the moment.

I would not accept it as a phase, but have her checked either by a hearing specialist.

Could it be that she is getting attention and being in control (like the boss)
I say it is too loud. I get you to stop doing what you want/ or need to do
Best wishes

My now 5-year-old daughter definitely went through a stage of saying just about everything was "too loud for my ears". She's had her hearing (and ears) checked several times and everything is just fine. I suspect it's just a phase for your daughter, too.

Good luck!

Sometimes ears can be overly sensitive. I have struggled with this my whole life, and if I hear a dril or an electric can opener, it hurts like bees in my ears. I gradually learned that I do not have to scream and run for cover, but I am still uncomfortable with it. A speech therapist or an audiologist may be able to help.

All the advise is great - my first thoughts were to get her hearing checked and to check for sensory issues. Other than a phase, you might need to consider she is just sensitive to noise. I consider myself a "noise sensitive" person. I can't stand hearing people crunch on apples and ice. I hate when people chomp their gum and chew food with their mouths open. I hate when people pound on a desk. And oh, clicky pens should be outlawed, especially from meetings! Any little noise - ugh! I'm sensitive to the point that it drives my husband crazy. He loves to rub his feet together - guess what? I hate it - I can hear the fabric of his socks rubbing together. I also hate the noise of his Playstation 2 - the noise from the fan added to the music of the game drives me nuts. And to make it more confusing to understand...crickets cricketing outside sounds so nice on a summer night, but a cricket in the house puts me over the edge. Any unnatural noise bugs me. Like a rattle in a fan - the fan noise is okay, but get rid of that rattle! Boy - after typing this, do I have some issues! LOL! Anyway, I know you're frustrated, but if it's not a medical condition causing this, please just remember her feelings towards noise may be real and try to be sensitive to those. Best Wishes from a Noise Sensitive Mom.

My son is doing this same thing, he has never been startled or upset by loud noises, he would sleep through the vaccuum and everything. Now everything is too loud. We let him sleep with the tv on (I know, bad mama, but you do what you do to get them to sleep) and sometimes the tape is quieter than the tv, so one night the video shut off and the tv was louder than the tape and when I went in there to turn it down/off he had his head covered with his pillows. Another night he curled up with us on the couch. He was starting to fall asleep, and grabbed my arm and made it cover his exposed ear, I thought it was just a phase or that he was doing it for attention, but now I'm starting to think of sensory issues. He's at the circus tonight and my Mom is sending me pics of him, and they're all of him with his hands on his ears. I'm taking him to the Doc tomorrow afternoon, and definitely getting a referral. As with anything concerning your health or especially the health of your child, if you are not satisfied with the Dr's advice keep getting her more appointments until you are satisfied.

My son also did this. For him it was about control. "how can I get attention, get my way, exert my independence, etc". We just told him that's how it was and eventually he realized we weren't going to cater to him or give in. The age they're at they're looking for independence and it's hard to know when it's that or really a medical issue. Good luck!

Hi J.,
I have a little boy who is now 4 years old. When he was little we went through the same thing. He would say things were to loud and cover his ears. In fact he still does this sometimes. I took him to the pediatrician and the ENT doctor. They ran tests and everything was fine. I had a book recommended to me called (Raising Your Spirited Child). After I read this book I realized that it wasn't just sounds but sometimes smells. The bottom line is that my son's temperment just makes him more sensitive to light, sound, and smells. This happens especially when he is tired, has been in social situations too long (holiday party, shopping at the mall). His system seems to overload and he just needs a quiet break. I don't know if this will help, but at least it might give you another option to look into.

We went through this with my nephew for about 3 years. He had drowned at roughly 18 months old and within two months after that he started the same thing. He is still sensitive to certain vibrations but not nearly to the same degree.
It has to due with the vibrations she is receiving, not so much the loudness of the sound.

Contact First Steps. The evaluation is free and in your home so it's easy to rule something out. It sounds like it could be a Sensory Processing Disorder. Or it could just be a phase and she's learned she can control you by saying it. Rule out the medical first, then you can work on the discipline.

My instinct says it is a phase and you are catering to it. It sounds as if you are bending over backward everytime she complains, giving her your full attention over what is making the noise. I would suggest that the next time she complains, you tell her she may go to her/another room where she can't hear the noise. If you really think it is something, then schedule an appt. with an ENT.

Good luck.

Do you notice that she does is mostly when you're not paying attention to her? I noticed you mentioned your dh was watching something on the computer and playing his video games...is it possible that she's saying it so he'll turn off his stuff and play with her?

I was also thinking...maybe she's just now starting to hear sounds that we sort of take for granted. Like the fan or the shopping cart. Perhaps it's louder to her than before b/c she's just noticed it. Just a thought!

It sounds like sensory issues. My daughter and I are both sensitive to certain stimuli and have developed migraine headaches. You may want to see a neurologists. They specialize in these issues. A hearing test may be a good idea too but your child may be sensitive to certain pitches. I would definitely see a specialist. Main stream doctors I think overlook this.

I haven't had this issue with my kids, but one thing I would do is to keep track of when this occurs--what noise is too loud, where was she, who else was there, what did you do (turn down tv, send her to quieter part of house etc) and what the result was. This will be helpful if you go to an audiologist or ear/nose/throst specialist for furhter evaluation. Those are the next folks I'd see if the problem continues. Good luck!

K. Z.

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